Working Party 29 March 2018
The team: Clive Bostle, Glyn Hayter, Alan Saunders, Geoff Smith, Geoff Thould.
At the end of March 2018 five members of Evesham Rambling Club ventured down to the riverbank just north of the town in the hope that a small bridge could be built over a ditch. This work is part of the club establishing the Round Evesham Walk.
There was some uncertainty as to what would happen first, a drenching by rain or being flooded out by the fast rising Avon. In the end it was the rain that won but it held off long enough to allow construction and positioning of the bridge, which was made up of three railway sleepers. The party spent a considerable amount of time stood in the ditch rather than on its banks. Once the bridge was in position all that was needed was to fix it to four posts that had been driven deep into the ground to act as anchors. Unfortunately, the fastenings were too short and given that the rain was falling quite heavily by now, it was decided to return with some longer coach screws to finish the job.
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It rained all the following day which prevented Glyn getting down to the bridge to finish off the job. The next day he went down only to find the bridge afloat with nearly a foot of water beneath it. Where he wanted to fix was now well under water and cordless drills don’t work effectively in these conditions even if it had been possible to see through the muddy waters. As a last resort he managed to tether the bridge using a length of metal as a peg and some rope he happened to have in his car. By the time Glyn left, the water was almost over his wellington boots. Obviously, team members were concerned about all their hard work floating off in the direction of Tewkesbury because the following day both Clive and Alan independently went down to the site to see what could be done. However, they were thwarted by the flood water. From a distance they could see the bridge bobbing in the current but still held in position by the peg. To be continued...
A week later the flood water had receded. Clive walked down to the river and was pleased to see that the anchor had worked. The bridge was still there, but in the wrong position. A hastily arranged team, consisting of the same members, was mustered. The bridge was moved back into position (which required considerable brute force and a couple of hernias!) Geoff T had been busy in his shed and had produced four excellent steel stakes which were driven deep into the soft ground to fix the bridge in place. The test will come with the next flood but it is hoped that it will be “troubled waters over the bridge” next time.
The next date for the Working Party is Thursday 21 December. Let Alan know if you are available.